HOPE Center Study Identifies Payer Coverage of Valley Fever Diagnostic Tests in Arizona

(January 20, 2020)

College of Pharmacy students Chloe Grace Rose, Joshua Kessler, and Jennifer Weisbrod along with HOPE Center faculty AMY GRIZZLE, PharmD and JASON HURWITZ, PhD, co-authored a new study in the Southwest Journal of Pulmonary and Critical Care titled Payer Coverage of Valley Fever Diagnostic Tests. The nonspecific symptoms of Valley Fever, or coccidioidomycosis, delay proper diagnoses resulting in unnecessary health care costs and antibiotic usage. This descriptive study contacted 40 health insurance companies located in Arizona to determine coverage of the diagnostic tests for Valley Fever. All 15 companies that provided information covered Valley Fever testing, of which 4 required prior authorization, 14 provided coverage in primary and urgent care settings, and 13 provided coverage for all available plans. The remaining 25 companies were unable to share coverage information with third party inquiries, but may cover testing. These results help to inform providers about insurance coverage and encourage earlier diagnosis of Valley Fever cases. Co-authors also include College of Science student Brittanie Hoang and Banner-University Health Valley Fever Program Director JOHN GALGIANI, MD .